What Katy Louise Did...

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Katy Louise writes about health, wealth, happiness and relationships, and the spiritual insights she gains along her path. She is currently editor of Top Sante magazine (www.topsante.co.uk). Prior to that she was editor of Bodyfit magazine (now Your Fitness www.yourfitnesstoday.com) and the launch editor of Soul&Spirit magazine (www.soulandspiritmagazine.com). Katy is also a certified Fitsteps and STOTT Pilates instructor. She is the go-to girl for all matters relating to health, wellbeing and spirituality.

Sunday, 31 March 2013

How to find buried treasure from the past

The past never truly goes away, especially if it had emotional significance. Relationships especially. Just when you think they're dead and buried, the past pops up to take you back down memory lane. And it doesn't even have to be actual relationships, it can be passionate 'liaisons' you had when you were barely out of your teens that left an indelible mark on your psyche. The reason I say this is because yesterday I got a message out of the Facebook blue from a former flame from my college days. I won't go into detail, suffice to say I'd been on his mind and, apparently, in his dreams. We were only in each others' lives for five months or so, but yet the memories had lasted much longer. Why contact me now, I was wondering? What did it mean, if anything?
Then it occurred to me I'd been reading a book called Finding Inner Courage, by Mark Nepo (Heron Books; £12.99 Amazon.com), only the previous day, and had opened it 'randomly' at a chapter about a building project that had been stalled when they unearthed the ruins of an old city, and had to get archaeologists in. The part I'd most pondered was this: "What stays with me is this question of how to build on the past. For aren't we all pressed with excitement and necessity to build new homes, new relationships, new careers, new lives  - always pressed by some real or imagined deadline, eager to get the thing done? Yet suddenly, if blessed, we trip on something of the past and, just as it feels that we are stalled, the thought appears that the need to dig in order to build might be God's way to unearth our foundation."

Learning from our mistakes
And while my eye is on the future, with regards to relationships and what might occur this year, perhaps this little interlude from the past has arrisen to show me something. Though too much backwards glancing is counter-productive in that it prevents us living in the now - and Lord knows I'm guilty of that one - sometimes remembering where we've been, who we were back then, and where we came from, can inform our choices in the present, and remind us of certain mistakes we may have made so as to avoid them again.
We can all look back and regret things, wondering what would have happened had we taken this path or that; again, this is something I've been guilty of far too much. But to be proactive about it, as Mark Nepo suggests, is to think 'OK, I made this choice and this, now what do I want to do and who do I want to be? If the past has any point at all it is to learn from and grow as human beings. None of us is perfect and I reckon everyone has something they said or did of which they are ashamed, but we can't keep carrying those burdens around, shackled to the regret, remorse or 'missed opportunities'.

Energetic connections
Did I 'cosmic order' his message somehow? After all, I do still have the university teddy bear mascots on my bed, and, since moving house, a picture of the college building on the mantelpiece. And I was only the other day talking to my house mate about the teddies saying where they came from. Was I energetically reconnecting to that part of my life, hence opening up the channel to receive a message from someone connected to that time? Or am I reading too much into it? Either way, as storyteller Mark Nepo suggests, it's brought up an opportunity to reflect on the issues of that year, and the romantic mess I created, and perhaps as a reminder not to do the same again. It also makes me think back to my hopes and dreams as a naive 20-year-old, and how I've fulfilled some of them, such as editing not one but two great magazines, which has been a blessing and a dream come true (Soul&Spirit and Bodyfit) but how other 'fantasies' have remained shelved because I never thought them possible, namely my desire to dance in professional shows, which was always a pipe dream.. It might be too late for that one - but I guess it only is if i think it is.

Pearls of wisdom
I think we can all learn a lot from the relationships of our past, good or bad. I was recently talking to TV presenter Amanda Byram (amandabyram.com) and she said something very wise on the subject, which was that each relationship brings us closer to who we really are. Few people get lucky enough to be with someone from 18 through to when they die, and those that do often have other life issues to contend with. The rest of us go through a series of learning experiences, each one of which can, if you take time to unearth the gems hidden within the remnants of the relationship, help you discern more about who you are and who you want to become. It's only by being with people who challenge us and push our buttons that we get to grow, painfully at times, into the people we are destined to be. And that's the benefit of digging back into the treasure chest of the past. Just don't stay there for too long or you miss the beauty in the present moment!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Being part of Strictly (well, by association!)

Can't believe it's more than a month since my dance lesson with Camilla Dallerup - former winner of Strictly Come Dancing (Strictly Come Dancing). I spent about three hours getting to the lesson, in Sunbury Upon Thames, but it was so worth the trip. We spent the time working on my rumba action, which was a bit lame as I wasn't using my legs properly - not straightening them enough or using my muscles correctly. After half an hour I could already feel my limbs aching! And rumba is the slowest dance too.

STRICTLY PALS: With Camilla Dallerup-Sacre, former winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2008 and now not only a dance teacher but an NLP master! 

It was great to see Camilla again. She writes for Bodyfit, but I met her a few years back interviewing her for Soul&Spirit magazine, which I edited for five years (Camilla is into all the same spiritual stuff as me, i.e. crystals, law of attraction, that kinda thing. In fact, she has launched her new website camillasacredallerup.com all about her life coaching/NLP work - check it out!). And the lesson taught me so much - I never knew rumba was quite so technical! Just listening to the music and dancing around the studio felt so great. I litereally come alive when I'm dancing, though I still feel a bit shy in front of others, and only really let loose the real me when prancing in front of my bedroom mirror. I don't know why that is: fear of looking silly, perhaps, or not being good enough (yes, that's prob it, me and my perfectionist tendencies).

SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS: Meeting Camilla for the first time at the Hay House I Can Do It event in 2011 in London

Since the lesson I've been practicing my rumba walks as often as possible, including that same day as I went to a salsa night and must have looked rather odd to all the other dancers as I kept sashaying across the carpet at the front of the room on my own, doing a very non-salsa dance. I did some more on stage at a salsa night the other week, while waiting for the DJ to change tracks and then come dance cha cha with me - which is just a faster version of rumba anyway). And I also practised them at the launch of Flavia and Russell Grant's Zalsa Fitness DVD (zalzafitness.com) at Pineapple studios (pineapple.uk.com), as they did a short class to introduce a group of journos to the DVD routines, one of which was rumba.

Strictly dreams...
Ever since watching the first episode of Strictly back in 2004, I've always said I wanted to be on the show, but not being a celeb or a pro dancer was going to make it tricky! Unless I got the job presenting It Take's Two.. Now there's a thought. But then the other day it occured to me that between my self and the two deputy editor's I've worked with on Soul&Spirit and Bodyfit, we've interviewed most of the pros and a fair number of the celebs too! I met Anton when he was holding auditions for members of the public to be in a dance event at Trafalgar square back in 2006, I think; I interviewed Darren Bennett and his wife Lilia for the EADT newspaper where I used to work (and Darren's brother Dale used to dance with a girl from my old school too). I have a pic of me with them somewhere, just can't find it; I've interviewed and met Flavia and her former celeb partner Russell Grant ...
GETTING ZALZA FIT! With Russell and Flavia at the launch of their Zalsa Fitness DVD at Pineapple studios, London, early March

KEEEEP DANCING! With Karen Hardy at her studios in Imperial Wharf, London, where I did a workshop and later a private lesson - more rumba to practise what I'd learned with Camilla weeks earlier
... Karen Hardy last December when I interviewed her for Bodyfit and did her dance workshop (karenhardystudios.com); I met Andrew Cuerden, who was in the first series, at a salsa holiday weekend in Suffolk many moons ago, I interviewed Kristina Rihanoff over the phone, and we've got Natalie Lowe going into the mag in a month or so. And I also interviewed Robin Windsor for my local rag, when he was first in Burn the Floor, before Striclty, and had dance lessons with his dad in a village hall in Suffolk for a few months!!! (by the way, Burn the Floor is on again in the West End and I'm so excited and will def be going at some point (burnthefloor.com)
On the celeb side there's Lynda Bellingham, Gabby Logan and, of course, Russell, who I've already mentioned. I'm sure there are more and I just can't remember right now.
I also used to dance at the same school as Crystal Main (who was one of the group dancers on Stricly and went on to be in Brendan Cole's show). So, I reckon I HAVE been part of Stricly by association! Well, that's what I like to think anyway :-)
For now, I'm hooked on ballroom and Latin again I want to do a ProAm competition (where you compete with a professional), and also take part in the showcase coming up at Karen Hardy's Studio at the end of April... watch this space!
As Camilla says on her coaching website, you have to 'Dream, Act, Believe', so perhaps if I focus enough positive intentions on my dancing dreams, I might just turn them into a reality. Life has a funny way of manifesting what you want when you relax and get out of your own way :-) Fingers crossed!